It is the year 2029 and the United Kingdom is no longer united.
Scotland and England have become uneasy neighbours, while across the planet unchecked population growth continues to ravage the environment. When a disillusioned scientist releases a genetically engineered virus, the spread of disease and of social disorder will shatter the lives of so many. This is the Zeno effect.
Alison MacGregor, a Scientific Liaison Officer for the Scottish government, is among the first to receive leaked information about the Zeno virus, knowledge that will profoundly influence her fate as well as that of three others who are also privy to the secret. These include Irene Johnson, her best friend’s mother and a Senior Scientific Adviser to the English government; Jonathan Hart, Director of England’s Domestic Security Division, who is increasingly disturbed by his own government’s policies, and young journalist, Julie Fenwick.
When the crisis deepens, the lives of these four intersect as they grapple with violence, military rule, and apocalyptic religion, obliging them to journey across an increasingly fraught landscape in search of safety.